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The Range Iiorses


THE RANGE IIORSES trace back in their origin to a small breed of animals known as mustangs, which escaped from the early Spanish settlers of the South west. With the advent of eastern set lers many horses of larger and better breeds escaped and served to modify to some extent the character of the early Spanish horses. These breeds, thus de veloped in wild and semi-wild condi tions are known in different localities as cayuse, bronchos, mustang and Indian ponies. At the present time these breeds are being greatly improved by the use of pure bred sires of practi cally all the different prominent breeds of horses.

Under range conditions horses can take care of themselves better than cat tle, especially in winter time. since they are able to paw away the snow to the grass underneath. The improved sire:, are not allowed to rim wild with the herd, but are kept stabled- or pastured and the mares rounded up twice a year for breeding purposes. In some states, laws have been passed prohibiting the running at large of native wild sires. The horses thus grown arc brought east and sold in great numbers for all the various purposes for which horses are used.

Farm horse breedingFarmers all over the country when they own good brood mares raise one or more colts nearly every season, and many men now make a special business of breeding horses for market. Colts are marketed when four to five years old, after first breaking to work in harness. It costs but little more to grow a horse to ma turity than to grow a steer and the horse usually sells for four to six times as much. Where a farmer has only a few mares he must depend largely on such service as the community affords. As a result of this he seldom produces a high-priced market horse. Where a man has sufficient mares to warrant keeping a pure bred sire, he can pro duce a definite market class of horses and can. moreover, match them to bet ter advantage.

Mule growing is confined quite largely to the corn belt and southern states. The mule is produced by cross ing the male ass or jack on mares and the business is carried on under practi cally the same conditions as horse breed ing. (See Chapter on Horses and Mules.)

horses, mares and horse